Fun

  • 10 Hints and Tips on How to Survive the Christmas Holidays!

    Now we all love Christmas, its the holiday that virtually everyone has off and even if you don’t celebrate per say there is still a real buzz around it. Now in our house we visit families, enjoy spending time with everyone, eat loads and generally be very very merry (most of the time). Its also a time where you are managing everyone’s expectations for at least 2 whole weeks, if not longer, so here are some hints and tips on being prepared, making the most of and surviving as well as ensuring we’re all still friends at the end of it.

    1. Keep your camera’s handy, whether its on your phone, that hugely expensive DSLR or a Digi camera – The memories you will want to capture can be treasured forever when you’ve got it on camera. Perhaps granddad has fallen asleep and his beard is in the trifle or the toddler is walking around with his newly gifted trousers on his head, be great to make sure you’ve snapped those shots as they happen!
    2. Put a couple of playlists together for the different occasions, we love to dance to Christmas songs whilst decorating the house and I love to have music at the ready for present opening time (as its usually very very early, try 5am!). Adding to that, we sing at the top of our voices, unluckily for our neighbours.
    3. Prepare a Christmas eve box with little games, snacks for Santa and Rudolf, a Christmas movie, Christmas story book, hot chocolate for bedtime or even with the movie, marshmallows to toast, popcorn, Christmas pyjamas or onesie, slippers, a soft toy and of course gingerbread. Those impatient little ones will surely be distracted for a couple of hours and miraculously be soo tired that they don’t insist on waiting up for Santa, here’s hoping! Over the years trends for these have increased so you might want to invest in making one, or even buying one.
    1. For gifting you should ensure you have copious amounts of wrapping paper, tags, bows, wasi tape and of course scissors. I love brown paper wrapping and then jazzing it up with colourful bows and ribbons, I have to say that my toddler doesn’t have the same appreciation. So we generally have lots of different wrapping paper and layer it up so that the tree looks a feast.
    2. Ensure you schedule time out of the house and spend some much needed family time, go for long walks – has the added bonus of burning off all that food, go to your nearest nature trail and enjoy the fresh air, or alternatively have a duvet day and movie marathon!
    3. Have some ‘you’ time, its a very busy period and if you’re like me there is always lots going on so make sure you block out some time and focus on self care. After all, if you’re calm and relaxed then so will everyone and everything around you be.
    1. Plan for 2018; book or block out some time for trips and make sure there are adventures booked into the year, this gives you all something to look forward to as well as breaking up key parts of the year. Its also a nice thing to do as a family.
    2. Have some surprises up your sleeve, whether its an impromptu baking marathon, a trip to see friends or a games day wearing funny costumes, mix it up.
    3. If you’ve got older children then think about a Christmas day treasure hunt so that they have to work out where their presents are, although they might get a little frustrated if they’ve spent ages trying to find them.
    4. Finally, enjoy every minute. Things change so quickly and next year is going to be a whole different ball game so enjoy, laugh lots, eat even more and most importantly make the most of all the time you spend with the people that you care about.

    Do you have any other hints and tips? Anything that I didn’t mention? Hope you have a fantastic festive period and make wonderful memories together!

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Rachel Ward of Luks Linen

    Coffee with a Creative is a monthly series all about meeting like-minded creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! Today we meet Rachel Ward of Luks Linen.

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

    Small Batch – Latte 

    What inspired you to set up your Company?

    After 20 years working in advertising I wanted to try something new – I had a sun bed epiphany whilst travelling in Turkey where I discovered the peshtemal (Turkish towel) and naively thought – I could start a business selling these multi-talented gems here in Europe – 2 years later here we are selling globally and working with family weavers to create a beautifully created range of towels for indoor and outdoor living.

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

    Hmm – I’m a night owl and not a lark so I probably start my day later than most. Tea and the laptop in bed checking emails and getting set for the day followed by the daily jump into Instagram. The rest of the morning is usually spent managing the website and checking our social media and online advertising whilst a typical afternoon would be a mix of photo-shoots, designing potential new products and liaising with our ateliers in Turkey. As it’s summer we’re also gearing up for the festival season which will see us indulging in our love of music and good food whilst sharing a bit of the Lüks love around the British countryside.

    Describe your signature style

    Less is more – I like quality over quantity, simple lines and good tailoring. Considering I work with pattern I don’t actually wear it myself!

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

    Producing a heritage range of peshtemals for Liberty – the perfect excuse to delve into their pattern archives too!

    What’s next for the Company?

    We’re moving more permanently into the US market as we speak and tentatively looking at collaborations with artists to see if we can translate their work on to the loom.

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

    I’m Brighton based so there’s lot to choose from – digitally there is a real pulse down here that is well supported with events such as She Says and TEDx. Artistically it’s a real melting pot from the Brighton Fringe to the Great Escape Festival – musically and theatrically we are spoilt for choice – put all of that next to the sea and you can’t fail to be constantly inspired.

    Who is the creative to watch?

    Mira Mikati – now she could persuade me to wear pattern!

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

    For me it’s about physical creation and being able to stand in an interior space and know that it feels right – I always been hands on so it was a natural progression for me to move from advertising into interior design and then soft furnishings

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

    – Don’t start with a screen – start with paper and a pencil – I am forever doodling and sketching…creatively that’s really important – don’t lose sight of it.
    – Make your concepts concise – how would you sell your idea in a tweet – it sounds trite but really makes you think about what is important.
    – Lighting, lighting, lighting

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

    Faux finishes

    Describe your life in 5 words

    Peaceful, exhausting, hectic, slow and lucky – running your own business you can experience all of this in one day!

    What are you thankful for?

    Having a business that has allowed me to step out of the 9-5 and off the commuter train

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?

    If we’re talking London then it would be brunch at the Wolesley followed by Tate Modern, dinner and piggy treats at Comptoir Gascon and an evening at the Barbican – just being in that building feels like you’re part of a Kubrick film. Sunday is market day so off to the East End for a spot of Columbia Road, good coffee and then a spot of open mic jazz and swing at the Palm on Regents Canal – all the old boys turn out for a spot of Sinatra – it’s brilliant!

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

    A lie in! Followed by a long leisurely dog walk with our black lab Sadie and an even more leisurely lunch somewhere like the Jolly Sportsman in East Chiltington. An evening BBQ with marshmallows round the fire and chatting nonsense with friends. Sunday…perhaps some wild swimming at Balcombe to blow the cobwebs away and then a hearty roast!

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

    Hoi An – Vietnam – this place is just magical – a world heritage site the low level architecture, cookery courses and tailoring is a must. The night market full of the seas weird and wonderful bounty and streets lit by lanterns.

    Rachel can be found on social media on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest. You can check out her lovely products over on her website, I think these are going onto my birthday wish list!!

    AartiPopat Blog Signature bluewgold x
     

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  • Coffee with a Creative: Urvi Sheth of Raw Invites

    My new series is all about meeting like-minded creatives and was also on my spring goals list, so here i go with a series of interviews talking to creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! First up we have Urvi Sheth of Raw Invites.

    UrviSheth5

    What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?
    Herbal Tea? oops

    What inspired you to set up your Company?
    I’ve always dreamt of somehow putting my creativity to good use. From a young age all I wanted to do was create art that people loved. But I managed to convince myself a job like that didn’t exist. I couldn’t possibly create my own dream job could I? So I started my journey, I went to uni, got my design degree and got myself a job as an intern where I learnt how the design world operates and I did as many freelance jobs on the side as possible. I soon came to realise the importance of experience. With every project and opportunity that came my way, my experience in the design field was fast growing, I was gaining new skills and invaluable life lessons. Which led me to become Laura Ashley’s head digital designer. Working for Laura Ashley has been one of the most incredible opportunities. Although Laura Ashley is a huge accomplishment, I felt I had out grown my role as I realised I wasn’t leaning as many new skills or growing as an individual and the only solution was to move onto the next chapter. I just didn’t know what I wanted to explore next or how to figure it out. So now we get onto why did I start RAW invites, where did this idea even come from? My Brother and now Sister-in-law asked me to design their Wedding Invitations. My first thought was I can’t design a wedding invitation, I couldn’t even think of an idea. Now that is worrying for someone who has a design degree and is Laura Ashley’s digital designer, right? But designing for the corporate world vs a personal approach is completely different. You don’t have the same creative freedom in the corporate world, and I had done it for so long I forgot how to design for any other medium. I started designing their invites and day by day I had a new light bulb moment. Coming up with new concepts and ideas, watching their faces and hearing their feedback brought a new sense of satisfaction that I never experienced in my design career, It was absolutely amazing. I reconnected with my long-lost creative side and realised how fun and enjoyable life could be, and I didn’t want that satisfaction to stop. One day my Brother said “Why don’t you design bespoke wedding invitations for other couples? Everyone wants something personal and you love doing it” – Seriously hearing those words especially from him was all it took, and now I run my own business!

    Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?
    I’m definitely not an early bird! I’d rather work till late and wake up naturally with NO alarm! I will wake up between 8-9am. Guess there should be some perks of being your own boss! – Check emails – Post of my social media accounts – Browse social media staying up to date with trends – Make a priority list of what I need completed (What designs I need to do, what orders I need to delivery, what deadlines are fast approaching, etc) – Client meetings – Printer visits – Come back to my desk and finish off my list – On a good day I can stop work at 9pm-ish – Recently I find myself still sat at my desk past 12! However I’m the biggest workaholic! I absolutely love love love designing.

    Describe your signature style
    If you know me you know I breathe colour and patterns. I actually get told people can instantly recognise my work ‘This has RAW written all over it’ I think that’s so important as you’re staying authentic to yourself!

    Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender
    Really want to work with acrylic, wood and mirror invitations as they look absolutely incredible. However the costs are high due to the materials.

    What’s next for the Company?
    I recently launched my very first Custom Wedding Invitation range, which means there is set designs the couples can pick and email across the wording. April was an incredibly productive month for me, I managed to complete 14 different designs with several colour variations, with very little sleep! I continuously need new projects to work on and as I finished my Custom Range I was on the look out for my next exciting venture. Days after saying this I got approached by Kudos Music to design a bespoke suite for one of their events. This was such an amazing experience, being able to design 16 ft signs, dance floors and DJ booths was incredible. What I’m trying to say is I see everyday as a new opportunity and I can’t predict what’s going to present itself to me tomorrow let alone next month.

    UrviSheth4

    What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?
    Creativity can be found everywhere! Look at the world we’re surrounded by! Nature, Architecture, Technology.

    Who is the creative to watch?
    I don’t believe there is a certain creative to watch. I believe we all have creative moments and thoughts, it’s what we do with those moments/thoughts that really determine it all. Creativity can be found in several different forms.

    How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?
    Truth – Designing was the only thing I ever really enjoyed. Hours would go by and I wouldn’t even realise.

    What are your top 3 *creative* tips?
    – The little details are what make the piece
    – Make sure your type face represents the project/ brand your working for
    – You can never have too much colour (biased of course)

    What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?
    Standard typical indian kankotri prints. (again me being biased)

    Describe your life in 5 words
    Exciting, Fun, Adventure, BUSY and MINE

    What are you thankful for?
    Being able to live my life doing what I love and for myself. Turning my childhood dream into a career. Sometimes when I’m just driving to client meetings going to the printers, etc I just smile to myself and realise that i’m actually just working for myself, I am my own boss! I that is the most incredible feeling, it just makes all the long days/nights and 0 social life ALL WORTH IT!

    What is your perfect weekend in the City?
    Walking through the little streets, going to parks, finding new food markets! Admiring how beautiful life really is.

    What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?
    I love the country side, and a good ol hike! Mt Snowdon was the last hike I completed. If you haven’t hiked before, I strongly recommend it.

    Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?
    I’m not sure! :/

    Urvi can be found on social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. You can also check out her work over on her website, doesn’t it look great?

    AartiPopat Blog Signature bluewgold x
     

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  • Festival of Colour: Holi

    Today Hindus everywhere will be celebrating the festival of Holi. An annual festival  of colours that marks the beginning of spring. The festival was primarily celebrated in India but with the widespread of Hindus all over the world is celebrated widely.

    The festival starts with the lighting of a bonfire which is said to rid any impurities and ill feeling, so Hindu’s believe that by offering up alms into the fire will turn to ash any ill thoughts around you. It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.

    On the day of Holi, thousands of people take to the streets to celebrate the abundant colours of spring by throwing coloured powder and water at one another in mass gatherings. In Hindu temples, devotees enter into a shower of colours as they gather for holiday prayers. Now with the easily available way of sharing via social media we can see how different people celebrate.

    Being a designer this is just the best festival to celebrate because of all the colours and the visual feast this creates. With the increasing interest from the western world everyone can join in and have fun, take for example the well advertised ‘Colour Run‘ presented by Dulux and is all about promoting and celebrating healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community. The reasons for the run and the reasons for the festival of Holi are very similar… anyway, what do you think? Will you be registering your interest in the Colour Run?

    Holi Photos2

    Holi Photos

    My sign off

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